Carl Broemel – All Birds Say
Jeff Pearson, September 2, 2010
Originally published by Life’s Sweet Breath
Listen: “Carried Away”
Carl Broemel, guitarist of My Morning Jacket, has decided to see some sunlight after dwelling in Jim James’ shadow for so long. He’s taking it all in. Because of this it’s no surprise that his debut solo effort, All Birds Say, is bathed in golden sunlight and Sunday-afternoon-in-the-park kind of joy that even a return to work on Monday won’t dampen.
The album opens with a delicately picked acoustic guitar intro, “All Birds Say”, and it takes no time at all for solace to wash over you. The production, handled by Broemel and Teddy Morgan, is clear and pronounced, while remaining secondary to just how beautiful these songs are. “All Birds Say” quickly gives way to “Life Leftover”, which continues the acoustic picking and western vibes. Broemel reflects on how to cherish moments while we have them; “Let’s not wait around for death to show us how well we have lived/This life leftover is all we get”.
“In The Garden” features more lightly picked acoustic guitars with familiar pedal steel twang skirting softly over the top. Featuring stripped down verses with sparse drumming, and subtle chorus colored with vocal harmony and beautiful soaring steel guitar playing, “In The Garden” is sure to induce a smile. The same can be said for every song on the album. It has an incredibly relaxed feel to it, with some tremendous melodies that will stick in your head for…minutes…until the next one replaces it. The last melody will stick in your head, for days. Possibly even weeks. Until whenever you put on All Birds Say again, let’s put it that way.
All Birds Say is a very powerful album that really shows how big of a songwriting force Carl Broemel is. Only a musician of his caliber can be as comfortable in the shadows as he appears to be in the limelight of a solo album. He can stay out in the sunshine for as long as he wants, as far as I’m concerned.